Back in a less politically correct day, over-stressed workers of both genders would sometimes throw up their hands in despair and wail, “I need a wife!”
Of course, that won’t quite fly these days, but the challenge of pursuing a career and trying to have some kind of life persists.
What about cloning? Just imagine what a clone could do for you at work:
Filing – Your clone could keep your desk clear and your papers in order;
Meetings – Free yourself from time-wasting gatherings and send your clone instead;
Returning phone calls and e-mails – Stay on top of your in-box and voice mail with the help of your clone.
And think what a clone could do for you at home:
Cleaning – Whether it’s washing windows or scrubbing those scary places, your clone can tackle it;
Repairs – Your clone could fix that closet door or repair that leaky faucet;
Telemarketers – Need I say more?
However, there is one gigantic problem with the clone as personal assistant idea, and it goes beyond the fact that, aside from certain starlet types, humans don’t seem to have been cloned yet.
The big hitch in that giddy up has to do with this – wherever you go, there you are.
If you have a hard time with filing, meetings, cleaning and repairs, so will your clone. So if you want to come up with practical solutions to your need for a clone, ironically enough, your first step is to face yourself.
Not literally, of course. But acknowledging your problem areas and understanding where and how you drop the ball can help you come up with ways to improve your game over-all.
Take filing. You know you need to keep your documents in order, so why don’t you? Is it because you tend to start things and not finish them? Do you leave papers around as a way to remind yourself to do something? Or is the problem that you have no idea what to do? Understanding the root causes underlying your trouble with routine tasks will help you get them done.
Of course, the classic time management advice, “Only touch a piece of paper once” doesn’t hurt, either.
But no amount of sage advice or careful agenda setting will help you find meetings more productive if you’re really not interested in collaborating, or if you’re certain nothing will come out of this gathering other than minutes no one will read. Being honest with yourself about these feelings won’t change your circumstances, but it will make it easier for you to develop effective coping mechanisms. Like patience.
When it comes to tackling tedious or time-consuming tasks on the home front, very often the roots of your difficulties lead right back to your relationship with the people who live there. Do you want your significant other to be more aware of your needs? How about your children? Very often complex emotional relationships are negotiated in terms of dirty dishes and towels on the floor. It’s easier to resolve these issues if you’re aware of what’s really at stake.
But when it comes to telemarketers… Maybe we all need to wait for the invention of household robots.